Wellington Phoenix have won their past two Hyundai A-League matches but will need to go to another level when they visit Melbourne City on Sunday.
Sunday, 27 November 2016
Melbourne City FC v Wellington Phoenix
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Digital, online and via the app, 1116 SEN (Melbourne), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvWEL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Josh ROSE (promoted), 9.Nicolas COLAZO (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Glen MOSS (returns from international duty), 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES (returns from international duty), 12.Adam PARKHOUSE (returns from injury), 16.Louis FENTON (returns from international duty), 22.Andrew DURANTE (returns from international duty)
Outs: 6.Dylan FOX (omitted), 24.Logan ROGERSON (omitted), 30.Oliver SAIL (gk) (omitted), 18.Ben LITFIN (omitted)
Unavailable: 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (knee – 6-7 weeks), Tom DOYLE (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)
After a poor start to the 2016/17 Season - four straight defeats - Wellington have bounced back with consecutive wins against Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners.
City are a different prospect, however, with John van 't Schip's side having won four of their past five meetings with Phoenix, including a 1-0 triumph in Wellington in the opening round.
City enter Round 8 second in the A-League but have yet to return to the heights of their 4-1 derby demolition of Melbourne Victory in the second week of the campaign.
Since that win, City have won twice, lost twice and drawn once in the A-League.
But in a big boost, marquee midfielder Nicolas Colazo is back in City's squad having not played since that derby win at Etihad Stadium due to an ear injury.
With the FFA Cup Final against high-flyers Sydney FC coming up on November 30, Van 't Schip will be hoping his team can put together an impressive performance to set themselves up for next week's first chance at silverware.
City were held to a 1-1 draw away to Western Sydney Wanderers last week, while Phoenix didn't play as the earthquakes that struck New Zealand's South Island forced their game versus Melbourne Victory to be postponed.
Wellington coach Ernie Merrick has recalled a quartet of All Whites - Glen Moss, Kosta Barbarouses, Andrew Durante and Louis Fenton - and Adam Parkhouse is also back after a stint out through injury.
ROUTE TO GOAL
City (50.9%) have the best shooting accuracy in the Hyundai A-League so far this term and the third best conversion rate (21.1%).
What Van 't Schip's side could improve on is the amount of chances they are creating as City have taken just 57 shots in 2016/17 to sit seventh in the competition in that statistic.
Colazo could make a big difference to that as he has produced more 'key passes' (10) than any other City player bar Luke Brattan (11) despite having only played two games.
Wellington have been heavily reliant on Roy Krishna, who has scored all but one of their goals, but it is surely just a matter of time before Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler open their accounts.
The former Victory pair would undoubtedly love to get one over City.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Tim Cahill. City's guest marquee enjoyed a mixed reception in his first professional club game in his hometown of Sydney last week but made a statement when he scored the opening goal.
Melbourne City: LWLWD
Wellington Phoenix: LLLWW
Melbourne City 3-1 Wellington Phoenix